Renu's Week

Monday, July 27, 2009

Report of 27 July '09

Hello from Indy!

This is a new format, where I don't send out an email telling all that there is a new post. Sending an email is not at all difficult for me to do, and the only reason for not doing it is to reduce clutter in *your* inbox, not my workload. If you want an announcement, I will gladly send you one; several friends have asked already.

So life in the world of locums is alright. On slow days, I get to read a bit, and today I read a case in the New England Journal of Medicine, considerately saved for me by Dr. Love at St. V. It was of a 23 year old from South Africa, visiting here, came to the ER for fever and headache, etc., and within a matter of days, died. Diagnosis: herpes. He had been seen going out with a female companion from a nightclub, and she'd looked like she had a blister near her mouth; presumably, they had kissed, and this was the result. Alarming. As much as we caution our young uns, and old uns, about unsafe sex, apparently kissing is also out now.

I am to change locations of practice and head to rural Indiana this week. Last week was an introductory visit, and I saw a couple bring their 8 yo, diagnosed with ADHD, in to the doctor. The mother proceeded to give a list of complaints about the child while the child sat silently; I could understand the mother's frustration, especially as she homeschools all 3 children, and I could completely sympathize with the child. A revolutionary movie in India portrayed dyslexia very well in a film called "Taare Zameen Par" ("Stars on the ground"). See it if you can get it subtitled; it was made by a star called Aamir Khan, and he has done a very good job. The actor playing the little child, Darsheel, is magnificent and brilliantly depicts the dyslexic boy who is characterized as stupid and belligerent. I saw it on the plane and liked it.

I rounded with Dr. Love last week and that was good. Nice to have the finer points of medicine pointed out by an astute clinician.

Some fine times last week: I spent Saturday night at the home of Mandy and John Sparzo, and their children. The adults went out for dinner, and then for a long walk, and all of it was good. We even got to hear a band play in the park, and they were not bad at all. It was a mighty therapeutic visit for me. I also got my Tap Dance lesson in: everything's alright with the world when one can dance. Traci, my instructor, teaches inner city kids and is extremely reasonably-priced, teaching dance because she loves it. I drove to Cincinnati for a very enjoyable Weiss-side family reunion, and then to the farm to see visiting cousins Jeff and Anne. All in all, a fun weekend.

The home of Kris and Gabe continues to be lovely, replete with 4 yo Isabella yelling, "RENU! I want to give you a hug," and 2 yo Rosalia, who normally repeats most things her sister says, not repeating this particular phrase :). The girls are very bright and I have enjoyed watching them.

The 3 Weiss men are well, and I talked to them last week. Navin was impressed with the tap dancing, likely because he hasn't seen me dance yet. When I told the men I was headed to a reunion with in-laws, Naren said, "Good luck with that," which I found sweet and funny. The same relative in India had another melt-down, and Scott has dealt with it ably.

Unw -


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Report of 19 July '09

Hello from the libraire -

Nice place, this.

The week has been okay. I got to see a patient with diabetes, whom I'd sent to several specialists because of the multitude of things wrong with him. In my exam room, he'd said he could not take orders from a woman; I had laughed out loud and told him that was just too bad because the nurses, receptionist and I were all female, and inclined to tell him what to do. So he took himself off and saw all the specialists. He and his wife are headed to Montana for a few months, and he has had his tune-up, and I have cleared him to go.

I have moved from Carolyn's place to the home of Kris Rea and Gabe Soukup. It is as warm and lovely as my previous residence. Kris and Gabe are very beloved people, having overcome a lot in their personal lives and still smiling, cheery and hospitable, and I am loving my time with them and their daughters.

I finished re-reading "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," and saw the movie yesterday. It was excellent; I enjoy the camaraderie among the protagonists and the wonderful role their teachers play. After the movie, I wandered into an Afghan restaurant nearby and ordered kebabs; the owner and I started talking and it was fabulous. He told me of issues in Afghanistan I did not know - "Karzai is good for his brothers and his friends. Everyone has an agenda when they get a job. Karzai's is to make his family and friends wealthy. Just like Bush." I like talking to people from other countries; even if they do not know my political leanings (I have few, coming from a country of mind-numbingly corrupt politicians), they express opinions freely. I will go into this restaurant again. I told this man of having met Miss Afghanistan - USA at the Banyan; she was *gorgeous* and spoke to me warmly, as though she had known me for a good 10 years.

The Weiss men are fine and dealing with issues in my absence. Some have spilled over into an argument with me, which the boys attempted to smoothe over; while I am tempted to say "Poor things," Scott's aunt tells me the boys are now old enough to get into the nitty-gritty of relationships.

Unw -


Monday, July 13, 2009

Report of 13 July '09

Hello from near the window as I watch a bird forage for worms -

It is rather nice to see the wildlife at play here. The other day, the bird did catch a worm; hard to believe the pretty avians are so intensely carnivorous.

Work is ok. I saw a delightful lady last week with a cough and sore throat. Incidentally, her blood pressure had been high the last 3 visits and I had to treat it: conditions ignored in the African-American populace can have catastrophic results. So I did, and then we got to talking; she is a teacher, about 20 years older than I. She has a Master's degree and I was full of admiration for the fact that she went to college at a difficult time, managed to get a couple of degrees and is very gainfully employed. Her daughter is an attorney in this town - clearly, the importance of education was passed down - and I talked to her (the daughter) a bit, with the patient's permission, about the visit that day. It was nice to see the daughter's concern.

I started tap dancing classes. There is a reason you don't see fat tap dancers. Aiya - the amount of heart-pounding a practice session generates must be seen, or panted through, to be believed.

A couple of fine times this week: I got together for dinner with former professors, Diane and Pat Healey and their children. Val Bruemmer, another former professor, joined us. The evening was perfect - excellent company, salad, fish, fruit and chocolate. I also partook of Port, and it was good. What I enjoyed the most was sitting in a screened-in room on a summer evening, talking about the profession and about parenting teenagers in a very therapeutic gathering. I also got to see Mary Remster for breakfast yesterday. Mary and I had volunteered for Special Olympics many years ago, and her husband, also our friend, Sam, died last year. Mary is a wonderfully gregarious sort, and keeps herself active by swimming and volunteering with mentally disabled adults. It was a nice morning. Carolyn Scanlan graciously surrendered her kitchen to me and I cooked a vat of Indian food for some wonderful friends, among whom were Kris Rea and Gabe Soukup, Cindy Ching, Natalie and Rob Manges, Mandy and John Sparzo, Sofiya Inger, and Marina Martinez and her family. It was a nice evening.

I saw "The Proposal" for want of anything better ("Bruno" didn't do it) and it was unexpectedly good. In what my friend Kris calls "shmoopy" movies, the supporting cast has to hold up and here they did, complementing the lead pair's strong performances very well. I also got to talk to the family and was surprised at the amount I laughed at things they said. The 3 Weiss men are doing well, which is a great blessing.

Along the way, I ate a fair amount of chocolate. And salad. They probably cancel each other out.

Unw -


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Report of 5 July '09

Hello from the library!

5 movies in 3 days, including a recent release - is this Mecca or what? Our dear friends, Kris and Gabe, are out of town and let me have the run of their place and their very fancy movie-viewing equipment, so I caught up on some flicks I have been wanting to see - Australia, Quantum of Solace, Charlie Wilson's War, and the Fantastic Four. I skipped the men's final of Wimbledon to see "Public Enemies" and enjoyed it.

Time is going slowly. Work, work, and then home. The daily workouts at the gym are going very well, and I appreciate having such a nice place to work out in. I do sometimes wonder at those that will not capitalise on having such lovely places to exercise in - and affordable, too. But perhaps exercise is not uppermost on everyone's mind. As I told my sister-in-law, Diane, when we were outside the grocery store near my in-laws' place in rural Indiana, that's job security for me, I guess.

This week, I went to one of our clinics for the first time and enjoyed it; it's in a poor part of town and we have lots of patients. One of them is an older lady who came in with back pain. She stated that muscle relaxant ointments help, and while I was glad for that, I got an x-ray anyway: at the Banyan, many ladies have brittle bones and it only takes a minor fall to break one. Perhaps my experience there is clouding my judgement? The x-ray in my U.S. patient showed multiple "compression deformities," likely broken vertebrae, and I will refer her to an orthopedic surgeon. The patient is a nurse, and I could speak to her in medical terminology, which is a change from my other patients.

Sandy Whisman took me out for dinner on Tuesday, and that was wonderful. It was good to see Sandy again; she is a recruiter for St. V and other hospitals, and is a nice individual with some good advice to pass on. I enjoyed the meal and Sandy's company immensely.

I got to talk to the Weiss men this week. On Saturday, Scott was alone as Naren and Navin were socialising with friends. As is common with folks our age, our children have much more active social lives than we do. This is fine with us, because frequently we only have the energy for an evening walk and dinner :).

Unw -